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Trying to systemize a professional services business is different from franchising a less technical operation; however, it is necessary to expand beyond the limiting wall of self-employment into true business ownership. It is possible to expand a personalized services business beyond the capacity of its original partners. Here are some important tips to consider if you are trying to grow past self-employment into a scaled business enterprise.
Automating the System
New CRM, email marketing and administration software makes it possible to automate business processes that previously required manpower. The first step towards the expansion of a professional services business is to take as much of the grunt work out of the creative’s hands as possible. Although there are certain aspects of professional services that cannot be automated, 90% of the work surrounding each account certainly can be.
Even if you want to maintain a system of labor, virtual assistance is cheaper than ever. You now have the ability to outsource to administration companies around the world, call in specialized administration orders every day and have those orders followed without needing the follow-up for the personal attention of the creatives.
Create Tools, Not References, For Employees.
Any process that you leave in the hands of an employee must be regulated past the point of suggestion. Although you want to challenge employees to put their own thoughts into their work, this should only apply in the case of gathering more business, not rote administration. Until your employees have proven that they can remove you from the process of systems automation and administration and function properly, you should retain their creativity in the background.
Do not create operations manuals for your employees. Create an entire system in which you can place any administrator without a loss of efficiency. The best example of this would be a five-star restaurant with a chef that makes specialized dishes, but a wait staff with a regimented form for taking and reporting orders.
Consistently Analyze Your Process.
You are unlikely to get your system correct on the first try. As much as you will try to automate the business aspects of your professional services, you will likely leave some aspect of your administration that is fully able to be automated out of the system. Forgive yourself; after all, you are a creative at heart. However, take every opportunity to advance the automation in your system so you can expand offices into locations without your physical presence.